February 19, 2013

After Australia Day

Ok, here goes nothing. Or something. That expression has never made sense. It has been a while since I have put up a proper post, and I am sure you have been waiting for it. Here it is. Do not worry, there are more to follow. Instead of one gigantic post I am going to do several smaller ones.

I am writing this from Cairns in Far North Queensland. I have been here for four or five days, and it is hot. The temperature is high, but it is made so much hotter by the humidity. Using the Canadian Humidex calculator, it looks like the average day see the humidex hit the low 50s, and on a warm day it hits the high 50s. So when I say hot, I mean hot. Today was a cool day compared to most. It was cool enough that I considered a sweater this morning. The humidex now in the early evening is 42.

I am not going to talk much more about Cairns as of yet, apart from putting up a couple pictures from the flight in, a flight over the Great Barrier Reef.

That second shot is looking directly towards Cairns just minutes away from touching down. It is beautiful here, and I will get to talking a lot about it later, but for now I am going to take us all the way back down to Sydney.

We pic up the story after Australia Day. By this point, my first three days in Australia had included three barbies, two poker nights and one Australia day, a great start to any Aussie adventure. Now, I am not a hundred percent sure that this will all be in chronological order, most of it should be there.

This is a replica of Captain Cooks ship. This is actually from a different day than the one I am about to describe, but it works. It was a dark and rainy night. Well it was actually morning. It was morning and it was raining. My friend Josh and I were trying to figure out what to do, and what we ended up deciding on is going down to Darling Harbour.

We tried to get into the aquarium and the wildlife park, but to no avail. Both were super busy. We went instead to the maritime museum across the bridge. It was pretty cool on the inside, but it was the ships outside that really made it fun. They had a veritable fleet of heritage vessels. Three of them were open to visitors. We first went to the ship above.

The first thing I did upon boarding it was make friends with a very large red head. Here is me with that head.

It is a very cool little ship. It spends most of its time sailing around crewed mostly by people who come aboard for a week or two to live the life. It was really pouring rain, and an open deck ship is quite wet. I love old sailing ships. They are beautiful. Even this one which has a squashed look to it.

The old navy ship was next. We were already soaking wet so we wandered around the outside decks for a little while, looking mainly at the big guns.

The inside was as utilitarian as any navy ship. As we walked past the ships store, we overheard a mother say to her very young kids "Thats where you get your cigarettes". Good thing to be telling the kids.

Next on the list was a submarine. Submarines are very menacing looking, even when they are old and deactivated. They are also really cramped. Here is me going down the hatch into the sub.

After that we headed back home and had a relaxing afternoon doing not to much at all, but not before we stopped at McD's and lamb, yes lamb burgers.It was actually a little depressing how good it was....

We did pop out later that afternoon. We went to the park just down the street. The normally dry creek looked like this.

It is phenomenal how much water can come out of the sky in a very short time. That day Sydney got over 100mm of rain, and up here in Queensland there were places which got more than triple that amount in one day!

Next up, the Blue Mountains.

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